First Mother’s Day dedicated to all mothers in Bologna: the report

by Claudia Ravaldi
LAURorA Onlus
LAURorA Onlus

Sunday 10 May Piazza Maggiore in Bologna was filled with blue, with sun, with light.

In a beautiful setting, in a city in great movement, a large group of people, family and friends, met in the blue to share an important and new message for Italian culture.

CiaoLapo and LAURorA discussed grief, loss, resilience, and said to each other that it is important to offer parents and families, including children, a space for mourning, a space to transform pain, a space to return to live.

For this reason, we thought that on Mother’s Day there could also be the right space for the mothers we represent. Mothers with hearts full of children and empty arms, or only partially full, full of love and precious stories to tell and share. They are my #mothers, they are in the name of that relationship they wove in the months of pregnancy and which they must partially renounce, after death. But only in part, because expectant mothers are made of the same substance as dreams, and there they go to fish for memories when lives have been too short.

However mothers, it is a slogan that I have carried in my heart since 2006.

When already being the mother of a two and a half year old child, in fact, erased from the collective memory Lapo, the stillborn child at term of pregnancy, as if it were a small marginal error in our biography, and not a expected, desired, known and raised child through my womb.

I wanted to reiterate, despite the current counterculture, that I was still a mother of two children, I had prepared myself to be, I knew I was about to embrace my second. I was a mother however, struggling with an absence that was difficult to manage, and full of double love, a piece for each of my two children.

The t-shirts designed for the flashmob summarize the essence of this thought that was born from CiaoLapo and was also adopted by LAURorA: respect for the experience of parents, for their feeling of being parents, for the memory of their children. #comunquemadri therefore, but also #chiahapauradelluttocactive, to underline how an empathic welcome and a respectful culture can make the difference in the elaboration of perinatal bereavement.

We want to look beyond the pain and inconsolability of the initial mourning ” explain the organizers ” and allow people to reflect on how an open, respectful and empathic community can foster resilience in our families made up of women, men, fathers, mothers, grandparents, children “.

The hashtag #chihapauradelluttocactive was designed to encourage personal reflection on our relationship with grief, death and dying. Paraphrasing “those who are afraid of the big bad wolf”, he wants to underline how easy it is to attribute a “naturally” negative meaning to the process of mourning up to the point of attributing negative and critical connotations to the mourner himself, who in our culture is not left free to express his mourning as he sees fit and therefore risks moving towards complicated mourning, not being able to do much else, in his rigid and frightened community to which he belongs.

The hashtag was born on one of the rare sunny afternoons of this undecided spring thinking about how important it is for a person going through mourning to be able to feel the presence of a receptive, sensitive and supportive community around him, which is not frightened by a silence, a tear, a moment of difficulty, nor in front of a souvenir photo, the imprint of a small foot, a flashmob of families like the one just passed.

“Our first and exciting flashmob is for this” says Sara Pariani “we want to bring a testimony of life after mourning, a testimony of love for those who are there and for those who are no longer there”.

Among the most beautiful moments that have directly passed from the eyes to the heart, the circle of families who addressed a symbolic greeting to the children, saying all their names together. Particularly intense, the launch of balloons, which colored the square and the sky, and gave a smile to many children who passed by by chance in the square and returned home with an unexpected loot.

Our colorful t-shirts, over a hundred people involved, lots of families, good music and the sun: we couldn’t ask for more for our first flashmob.

Thanks to Sara and Andrea of LAURorA onlus for the great organizational support, thanks to the old and new families from many cities, thanks to the volunteers who every day allow bereaved families to have a little less fear, and to do a little less fear.

Until next time!

Claudia

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